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Post: The launch of Driver2020 – how to get involved

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The launch of Driver2020 – how to get involved

Author:

Frances Sherlock

Driver2020 is a real-world trial of interventions designed to help newly-qualified drivers improve their skills and safety when they begin driving post-test. The research project has now launched. It forms part of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy, first mentioned in the 2015 Road Safety Statement. The research is being led by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and DIA have been working closely with them as a key partner. We are helping with delivery of one of the interventions being trialled, and now we are asking for your help by encouraging your pupils to take part in the project as a whole. 

The rationale behind the trial: helping newly qualified drivers improve their skill and safety

Newly qualified drivers remain a stubborn safety risk on UK roads. The excellent work done by driving instructors across the country in preparing their learners for the theory and practical tests is widely acknowledged, but we welcome any additional interventions that can be provided to newly qualified drivers to complement the work of ADIs and help learners adapt to driving after the test.

Driver2020 is investigating interventions targeted at learners and novice drivers in a series of controlled tests – much like the trial which took place to evaluate the changes to the L test. The interventions will act as additional exercises that learners can do to supplement what they already get from their driving instructors.

How can ADIs get involved?
There is, however, one main challenge. Over the next year or so, TRL need to recruit upwards of 12,000 learner drivers to take part. This is where you come in.

TRL needs ADIs like you to help support this world-leading by encouraging your pupils to take part in the Driver2020 trial. Some of the things being tested could be very useful in promoting more ADI involvement in driver education and testing across the board so it’s important we have the support of the driver training community in this project. It’s crucial trainers get involved in projects such as this as it will directly shape driver training, licensing and testing in the future.

The Driver2020 project is looking for learner drivers aged under 25 (who have just started learning) to take part. To briefly outline what will be involved for those taking part:

  • Learners may receive free additional training, e-learning or be asked to download an app to help complement their learning.
  • They will be paid to complete some surveys once they have passed their test and have the chance to win prizes for participating in the trial.

The following video explains a bit more about what the trial involves:

One of the interventions is designed to help learner drivers track and plan their learning. Once your pupils have signed up to take part, they may be allocated to this group and might also approach you to help them with this.

So to summarise, here’s how you can help:

  1. Encourage your pupils to visit driver2020.co.uk and sign up for the trial (they can see if they are eligible when they register)
  2. Download our resources and share information on social media about the trial and how to sign up, for example “Calling all learner drivers aged 17-24! Get involved in @NewsfromTRL study #driver2020 for the opportunity to become a safer, more skilful driver, earn rewards and win prizes! Find out more and sign up at driver2020.co.uk
  3. Get involved if you are invited to help your pupils!

We can’t give away much more than that at this stage. You can visit driver2020.co.uk for the information given to participants. Please do encourage your pupils to visit the site and to sign up for the trial.

We’ll aim to keep you up-to-date over the next year or so with progress in recruiting learners, and also beyond that as the research findings become available. The project is running between now and early 2021 – we need that long to allow the many thousands of people to pass their test, and accumulate enough post-test experience to complete the surveys.

Shaun Helman, Chief Scientist for Transportation and the Project Director of Driver2020 said “Without the help of Approved Driving Instructors like those in the DIA membership, research projects like Driver2020 simply cannot succeed. I’m looking forward to great levels of support from the profession, as we have received from previous TRL projects like this.”

He added: “I’m also looking forward to being able to come back to the profession at the end of the project to see what role they can play in implementing whatever we find, so that we can all work together to improve the safety of the people we all serve – those new drivers who are hungry to learn, to improve, and to make the roads safer.”

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